China and Australia signed a preliminary free trade deal on Monday [17 November 2014] that will make 85 percent of all Australian exports to China tariff-free from the outset and raise it to 93 percent before 2019. The deal, once takes effect next year, would give Australia’s service industry greater access to the Chinese market and its agricultural sector advantage over competitors such as the United States. The importance of the deal can be gauged from the volume of trade between China and Australia, which grew from $86 million in 1972 when the countries established formal ties to $136 billion last year…Full Article: China Daily Nov 2014

Key Point

  • In 1971 (a year before US President Nixon), Australia’s Prime Minister Edward Gough Whitlam visited China and met with Zhou Enlai (Premier of the People’s Republic of China). This visit later led to Australia’s official recognition of the PRC.

ChinaAg Comment

  • In 2008, China and New Zealand signed a FTA that set in place the removal of tariffs on 96% of New Zealand exports. This removal has been staggered over time, with certain agricultural exports being tariff free by 2012-2013 (infant formula, wine, apples, etc.), 2016 (edible offal, oranges, beef, etc.), 2017 (butter, cheese, liquid milk), and 2019 (whole/skim powdered milk). New Zealander wheat, sugar, and rice will not have receive reduced tariffs.

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